The Road North brings together over fifty works by leading postwar Soviet painters whose portrayal of traditional life in the small villages and ancient towns of the Russian North stood in stark contrast to the focus on industrialization characteristic of socialist realism.
Matryoshka: The Russian Nesting Doll, features Matryoshkas on loan from a private collector in San Francisco. These brightly painted wooden objects have become a symbol of Russia and Russian folk art; their bell-shaped silhouettes are familiar to the young and old. Whether depicting ancient legends, religious themes, or political caricatures, Matryoshkas can tell us more than meets the eye–as one doll opens to reveal the next one inside–about the history of Russia.
The longest road on earth, the fabled Silk Road spanned several thousand miles, connecting East and West and stretching from China and India to Central Asia, the Middle East and the Mediterranean Sea. For two millennia, exotic goods, artistic styles and cultural traditions traveled in both directions leaving a lasting impact on civilizations across vast expanses. The Silk Road became a symbol of economic and cultural exchanges between East and West.
This exciting exhibition spans nearly 100 years of illustrative history, tracing the evolution of a country through the impactful images contained on postage stamps. The stamps, rich in artistry and visual eloquence, communicated the Soviet Union’s aspirational utopian vision to the people of the USSR and around the world. On exclusive display through September 20, 2009, this original exhibition features approximately 300 rare stamps on loan from a private collector.
Russkiy Salon features some of the most remarkable and popular paintings exhibited at TMORA over the past six years. This unique exhibition allows art-lovers the opportunity to reacquaint themselves with the familiar masterpieces. Approximately 54 paintings will be on view including works such as the beloved Milkmaids, Novella, by Nikolai N. Baskakov, the dramatic and evocative Unmade Bed by Mai Dantsig, and many other outstanding works of 20th century Russian art. The exhibition will also include pieces that have not been previously displayed. Among them is an epic work by the eminent Soviet artist Yuri Pimenov First of May Celebration.
This exhibition explores themes of darkness, nighttime and shadows during the Socialist Realist period of Russian art. In the official art of Socialist Realism, ‘light’ was a universal metaphor for Soviet life that promised a radiant future to the people. Soviet artists were expected to produce artwork that was infused with energy and sunlight fit for exposure at state-supported and censored exhibitions. These scenes, lacking an identifiable source of light, display an experimental desire of Soviet artists that was never completely suppressed.
54 icons from the Yaroslavl Art Museum in the Main and Mezzanine Galleries
This exhibition features 54 extraordinary icons from the Yaroslavl Art Museum. The treasured, and once venerated icons on view were painted in the 17th and 18th centuries, considered “The Golden Age” of Yaroslavl’s cultural and commercial life. Separating the exquisite icons of Yaroslavl from others of the same period is the highly decorative quality, the free composition, the mass of architectural detail and lavishly decorated robes to tell a story through a common symbolic language.
The remarkable photographs of Sergei Prokudin-Gorskii offer a haunting glimpse into a lost world—
the Russian Empire on the eve of World War I and before the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. With the support of Tsar Nicholas II, Prokudin-Gorskii traveled throughout the vast reaches of the Russian Empire, carefully documenting its people, architecture, landscape and industry. Using an innovative camera of his own design, Prokudin-Gorskii captured subjects in vivid color. TMORA presents 23 stunning images, borrowed from the Library of Congress, in a custom-designed light installation.
This exhibit of 54 fine art paintings traces the historical evolution and influence of impressionist painting from its roots in 19th century France to its successful transplantation in pre-Revolutionary Russia. Although impressionism was routinely suppressed by the Communist Party as a foreign-inspired and socially decadent art form for over six decades, Russian artists never abandoned their affection for and use of impressionist brush techniques and color pallet. Impressionism survived behind closed doors and re-emerged as a dynamic and beloved art form that is uniquely Russian.
Prints from the Zimmerli Museum and Rutgers University in the Lower Gallery
“Art was a controlled substance in Russia and the Communist-bloc countries of Eastern Europe during much of the Soviet era (1922-91). While government censors tried to restrict what artists painted or sculpted – especially anything with a religious or political theme – they largely ignored etchings, lithographs and other prints because they were considered minor art forms. A new show of 41 Soviet-era Estonian prints, on loan from Rutgers University, suggests that a lot of social commentary slipped under the official radar in those days. The Rutgers collection specializes in “nonconformist” art, meaning pieces that ignored or defied the official party line.” (Mary Abbe, Star Tribune)